Hartlepool's leaders call for 'togetherness' as town faces 'horrible time' under Lockdown 3
Council chiefs in Hartlepool have stressed the importance of togetherness and urged residents to stay at home to help save lives.
Following the announcement everyone in England must stay at home, except for a handful of reasons, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, Hartlepool’s director of public health, Craig Blundred, has urged ‘together we can do this’.
Under the new Government restrictions people can only go out for reasons such as shopping for basic necessities, exercise, medical assistance and work, if it cannot reasonably be done from home.
Councillor Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, added ‘now, more than ever’ it was time for people in the town to stay at home to protect their loved ones.
Mr Blundred warned the new variant of coronavirus is spreading at an ‘alarming speed’ and urged everyone in Hartlepool to pull together to make a difference.
He said: “Since the pandemic began last year, people across Hartlepool have been working to fight Covid-19 and we would like to recognise the significant sacrifices people have made over many months.
“We also know that this new variant is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible – in short that means you are much, much more likely to catch the virus and to pass it on.
“I understand people are tired and frustrated – this is not the start to 2021 any of us had hoped for – but if everyone pulls together once more we will be able to make a difference.”
Hartlepool’s director of public health added there is ‘good news in the form of the biggest vaccination programme in our history’ but warned this will take time to roll out, so everyone must remain cautious.
He also urged everyone to continue following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance and said it is ‘vitally important’ these safety precautions are all taken, adding ‘small steps save lives’.
Cllr Moore, the council leader, said the pandemic has shown how the ‘strength of Hartlepool is its people’ and urged residents to follow restrictions in place.
He said: “At so many times during the coronavirus pandemic, I have been reminded that the strength of Hartlepool is its people and I am still confident we will get through this.
“2020 was a hugely challenging year for us all and I understand everyone is tired and frustrated and new restrictions are not the start to the year any of us had hoped for.
“But the evidence around the new strand is clear and now – more than ever – is the time for us to stay at home and protect the people we love.”
Cllr Moore also noted how the pandemic has meant a ‘horrible time’ for local businesses, and he ‘cautiously welcomed’ new grants announced today.
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to be given a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, with the measure costing £4 billion across the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
Cllr Moore added: “We’ll need some time to process the detail around these grants when we receive this and we will share further information in due course.
“Please stay safe everyone and hopefully – if everyone follows the rules – we’ll start to see our rates decreasing.”
Announcing England’s lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said hospitals were under ‘more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic’.
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. They should not attend work.
The new restrictions can be viewed at www.gov.uk/coronavirus in full.
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